Urgent advice please!

I'm really struggling on this and know you lovely ladies will be able to help. We are looking at a Winter wedding and have priced it up and we have 2 options - to book for November 2012 or November 2013.

If we book for 2012 we can do it (slightly cut budget) and we will end up owing £3,000 worth of debt.

If we book for 2013 we could have everything we want and no debt - but it's so far away!

What do I do?!?! HELP!


  • 1SmartBride1SmartBride Posts: 1,579
    It depends on what you want?

    I would say no debt personally, are you sure that you would have 3000 debt??

    have you already had quotes for everything? or could you haggle to get prices reduced. it is november.

    I am getting married this november and i have found that people were falling over themselves to acommodate my price request as it is a quiet time for them etc.

  • MrsSargentMrsSargent Posts: 212
    Wait! Dont't get into debt (but that is personal preference and I shouldn't really preach ! I have 2 maxed out credit cards!)

    When you are engaged it is like life hits fast forward!
  • thenextmrscthenextmrsc Posts: 409
    I know - it's so tough. I don't actually KNOW the prices - I'm doing estimates but I tried to haggle with the venue and photographers and all have said no, it doesn;t matter that it's November. I might be able to do it.

    I have budgeted the following:

    Venue - £6,000

    Dress - 1,000

    Photos - 1,500

    Decor - 400

    bmaids dresses - 150

    bouquet - 50

    shoes - 50

    Band - 700

    Civil fees - 400

    Rings - 600

    Invites - 200

    Make up - 80

    Hair - 80

    Favours - 200

    Veil/hairband - 200

    Suit -100

    Cake - 100 (supermarket)

    Is this about right or am I way off?

  • MrsTwizbeMrsTwizbe Posts: 3,352 New bride
    Agreed debt is not the best way to start married life, but it really depends on how long you want to be engaged.

    Personally there was no way I was going to be engaged for more than a year, so we have compromised on some aspects of what we want, had fewer ppl and economised where we can. Only debt we have is our honeymoon has been paid for on credit card.

    Have a talk with H2B and see what works for you.
  • leighh5ukleighh5uk Posts: 278
    i would personally wait, we are march 2013 because again we needed the time to save for what we want, because of the month we are getting discounts too x
  • leighh5ukleighh5uk Posts: 278
    i would personally wait, we are march 2013 because again we needed the time to save for what we want, because of the month we are getting discounts too x
  • MrsDVMrsDV Posts: 322
    Well, I would suggest there are a few lines in your budget where you could easily shave costs:

    - Invites don't have to cost £200. Use an online company (e.g. vistaprint) and print your own inserts. Look for value packs of thank you cards, or write letters instead (which lots of people prefer anyway!)

    - I got a wonderful photographer for £650. She is SE based but am sure would travel. (google Assassynation)

    - Why are you spending £400 for decor? Choose a venue that is beautiful as it is! image

    - Ditch the favours and make a donation to charity instead. Guests would like that, even if it is just a token amount e.g. 50p per guest.

    Hope this helps!

    Kat x
  • ezz100ezz100 Posts: 1,029 New bride
    Your budget seems Ok but remember everything costs more than you think unless you are very structured.

    You may not have allocated enough for flowers depending on what you are having.

    BMs cost a fortune...each of mine had a dress costing £200 plus shoes, accessories, bouquet, gift... it all mounts up.

    But you can get bargains and you have time to do that.

    Favours at £200 seems alot...mine are home made fudge in a little box tied with ribbon working out at £1 each all in.

    My 100 invites cost £60 from daisychain.

    I couldn't wait til 2013 but many do and enjoy the time in between getting it just right.
  • leighh5ukleighh5uk Posts: 278
    i too think the likes of decore/invites/favours is over what you'd need to spend, i mean you could even cut favours totally and as for decor if you mean like centrepieces i would just cut down.

    things like veil/headband could get second hand much cheaper than £200, depends what your willing to do. if you want it all id def wait till 2013 x
  • BeauvallonBeauvallon Posts: 217
    I agree you can cut costs- I got 50 invites on ebay for £20 and everyone loved them. You don't have to have favours- American idea anyway! You also have time to perfect your make up and do it yourself. Most venues also have cheaper days- could that be an option?
  • cebpickle1cebpickle1 Posts: 6,786
    Photographer you could get for half of what you are thinking at least, ours cost £550 and we got all photos on a disk to print ourselves and they are amazing.

    Also how many people for venue? Ours was 3 course sit down dinner for 85 people, with 3 bottles of wine on each table, plus evening buffet and disco and was £550.

    £200 for favours is a lot, and are you paying for bridesmaid dresses or are they? My BM insisted on paying for hers. I paid for her hair and make-up.

    What is the decor for £400?

    A lot of places do deals on suits. You could get your dress for less than £1000, veil and headband do any friends or relatives have one you like you can borrow?

    I think you could easily shave £2000 off what you are estimating
  • Stephb1986Stephb1986 Posts: 2,536
    I would wait instead of getting into debt starting married life is hard enough as it is without debt.

    I am only getting married in 2014 I've been engaged 18 months but I know that I will have everything I want and it will be perfect.

    Steph xx
  • thenextmrscthenextmrsc Posts: 409
    wow thanks guys this is amazing. Yeah the costs are estimates although all photographers I have seen are quite high - the decor is for centrepieces, chair covers, disposable cameras and place names but again, just an estimate. Thank you for all your comments! xx
  • summerbride1summerbride1 Posts: 205
    hi just to say we booked our wedding in dec 2009 for july 2012 and i throught it was ages away and now its a little over a yr adn im flapping!!!!! lol id wait i have enjoyed being engaged and looking at all the wedding things and planning X
  • I think it really depends on what is more important to you, I would also say don't start married life in debt but you can do this either by getting married earlier and making savings and perhaps not having everything quite perfect or getting married later and have everything you want. Personally, I really want to get married earlier, but I am willing to make compromises to do this, (I have never wanted a very formal wedding anyway so this was an easy decision for me to make), but if you have your heart set on something then I would definitely definitely wait because I have read so many threads where the constant stress of saving saving saving, with no money to have a break and have fun has really put a strain on the relationship, far better, if you know what you want, to take the time to save for it and still be able to afford the occasional treat!
  • thenextmrscthenextmrsc Posts: 409
    wow thanks MrsSoontobewragg - thats great advice. yeah our main problem is the numbers - we really want to invite 60 if we can; it is a little out of control already so I could do with more time to relax but the other part of me is going "get a move on - you're going to be a really old bride!" lol. Thanks SummerBride - your comments give me hope! x
  • lindsayulindsayu Posts: 1,939
    Chair covers I have found to be approx £4 per person, centrepieces approx £15 per table so depending on numbers I actually think your decoration could be too low. Our photographer is about £700 without an album, we'll get that after, or ask for it to be paid for as a gift.

    What about honeymoon? What about stag & hen? Transport/accommodation? Wedding insurance?

    I think it also depends on your age/life plan etc! I know it sounds overly sensible but we booked our wedding May 2010 and get married August 2012. We have been engaged for 7 years ish and we were only spurred on to setting the date as my MIL2B passed away and we were given some money by his dad, it seemed a fitting way to use it. Anyway, I'll be 29 when we get married, he'll be 33. We want a year or 2 of married life with no kids, then we want to start trying which will mean I'll then be 31 and he'll be 35, which if we want a couple of kids don't want to leave it much longer really (sorry to tell you my life story but trying to point out it's not just about the size of the wedding party it's also about the marriage and your life together and blah blah blah!)

    We are saving approx £500 per month, plus my bonus goes into it as well. It is almost crippling us financially and I think it has driven us almost to the edge on a few occasions. Our social life is non existent, we've not been abroad in 4 years, and my wardrobe is full of crap, crap with holes in to be exact. Sometimes I wish I could go out with my friends, have a bit of a shopping spree, see some sunshine... If saving for the wedding and getting £3k in debt is going to be you saving every penny, 2 and a half years is a long long time to be skint every month I promise!
  • It depends what's most important to you..

    For us, venue, rings, flowers/decor, fireworks, dress, photographer were all really important and we don't want to compramise.. but have been looking around and getting best deals and using people we know.

    If you feel happy with a 3k-ish loan and don't want to wait.. then go for 2012, everyone is different.!! and feels differently about loans and credit cards
  • It depends what's most important to you..

    For us, venue, rings, flowers/decor, fireworks, dress, photographer were all really important and we don't want to compramise.. but have been looking around and getting best deals and using people we know.

    If you feel happy with a 3k-ish loan and don't want to wait.. then go for 2012, everyone is different.!! and feels differently about loans and credit cards
  • cebpickle1cebpickle1 Posts: 6,786
    I would skip on the disposable cameras, everyone I know that had them regretted it as cost quite a bit to develop and there were only a few good photos on each one. Instead ask friends and family to send you disks with their photos on post the wedding, we did this and we have loads of amazing pics.

    Do you really need chair covers? We didn't have them and I was pleased that we didn't as the tables were all white linen so couldn't be seen

    For 60 people that is 6 tables of 10 people approx. So 6 centre pieces, if you allowed £15 for each that is £90.

    Whereabouts in the country are you? People can then maybe recommend photographers that are more reasonable in price.
  • MrsO2012MrsO2012 Posts: 5
    Congratulations on your engagement image

    I got engaged december 2009 and am getting married in July 2012 for this reason!! Would prefer to have the perfect wedding with no debt. However the one thing I have found that most venues are subject to price increase each year, so that's the only downfall of waiting! We've just been told to add 10% to the 2011 prices from our venue (7% annual increase and the 2.5% vat increase)

    But it's your wedding so its personal preference image)

  • thenextmrscthenextmrsc Posts: 409
    Hi, I'm in Cornwall so any good photographers in Cornwall or Devon would be great. The good thing is our venue (although pricey) have agreed to hold the price for us for 2013 at 2012 prices.

  • joeyanniejoeyannie Posts: 172
    There are lots of dresses available well below the £1000 mark (mine was £500) and bargains to be had for once worn/ex samples if you have your heart set on a particular designer.

    For other savings I would recommend you check with your venue about what they do/can include in your price that you might not be aware of. Ours included the cake knife and stand, the table plan and all place cards and flowers for the ceremony table that we then moved to the top table. they also included a master of ceremonies who turned out to be worth his weight in getting people where they should be, they included the bridal suite for us the evening of the wedding and discounted rooms for our wedding party the night before and the night of.

    Its the little things that build up costs so if they do include things like place cards I would say go with it.

    Also worth (if you know the rough list) thinking about your gusets in terms of things like drink packages. As we knew half our guests would be driving home the day of the wedding we were able to substitute in some soft drinks in place of booze and got a substantial price reduction (and still had wine left over to drink in the evening).

    Finally (sorry...I have really gone on!) ask if they are able to offer a reduced price depending on your timings/needs. We got married at 3, meal at 5.30 and didnt have any additional evening guests so they changed our contract from a buffet for 80 at £14 a head in the evening to bacon rolls and chips for 40 at £6 a head...huge saving and no food wasted.

    Some of the above may be compromises on your ideal day so I suppose it is as the others have said...is it more important to have the full dream and wait or get married sooner and find a couple of compromises?

    Good luck with whatever you decide!
  • Honey, do it early.
  • Chris_GilesChris_Giles Posts: 609
    The 3k debt will be more like 5k. Most budgets over run.

    The actual amount owed isn't the main worry but the cost of servicing the debt is.

    If the interest on the money is say, £1000 then to have your wedding in 2012 is going to cost you £1000 more than it would do in 2013.
  • thenextmrscthenextmrsc Posts: 409
    wow thanks lacry - the truth is I haven't shopped properly yet - I've just said to people "how much do you reckon X will cost?" Everyone said about £1,000 for a dress and I figured bridesmaids would only be 3 dresses (I have since discovered - doh! they need shoes, flowers, hair, makeup etc) Bit clueless at this! We did think however we would save money on suits if we just did black tie - what a nightmare all this wedding planning is!

  • EMKETEMKET Posts: 133
    I'm going to go against most of the opinions on here and say as long as its 'managable debt' then I dont see any issues (IMO before anyone lynches me!). If you think you can pay the £3,000 off in a reasonable time after the wedding and without getting into trouble with bills etc then it may be worth the compromise. We are getting married in March with a budget based on what we could afford to save between when we set a date and the wedding (or when most bills etc are due 8 weeks before). We have already agreed tho, if nearer the time we want some little extras we cant afford we are happy to put on an interest free credit card as we know after the wedding we will be able to clear it relatively quickly as our savings wont be going in the wedding fund. Just be realistic of what kind of debt you can manage (obviously wouldnt advocate going and taking out a £20k loan for a wedding!)

    But I do agree with everyone else in that it often costs more than you initially budget for by 'guestimating!'

    good luck whatever you choose to do! x
  • n_e_rosen_e_rose Posts: 1,562
    i got engaged in march 2010 and not getting married till august 2012, so two and a half years, like yourself, i will tell you, the time has flown by.

    If we keep saving the way we are saving, we are going to end up having an additional £4,180 spare but not telling h2b, as we could use that to start saving for a mortgage.

    All depends on if you can wait, but what i will say is book everything now, cause i booked everything in 2010, and my photographer has put his prices up by nearly £600 but he's just informed me that as i'm a current client its the old price.
  • louisac28louisac28 Posts: 10
    We were going for 2012 at first but as the times gone on we've realised that it just wont happen so have changed it to Aug 2013 and the relief is bliss!!! We have just bought our save the dates (which i am filling in tonight with a bottle of wine!!) and the only thing we are doing this yr is browsing for things and putting deposits down (and saving,saving,saving)!! I will admit i have been to one bridal shop and tried a few dresses on but i'm allowed! Honestly, knowing there is no massive rush and we will have no debt is realy worth the extra yr wait! Besides i waited 8 yrs to get engaged!!!lol image
  • GattinaRosaGattinaRosa Posts: 822
    I'd say wait. We have decided to wait until 2013 as well, so that we can have the perfect day and have everything we want.

    The way I see it is that an extra year can make a massive difference. You can everything you want, not start your married life in debt and also, you can relax a bit more, instead of rushing anything!
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